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Warlock #10: Review

Dec 1975
Jim Starlin, Jim Starlin

Story Name:

How strange my destiny Part 1

Review & Comments

4 stars

Warlock #10 Review by (April 10, 2018)
Despite the cover Magus and Thanos don't actually meet until next issue.

Captain Marvel says that Titan is an artificial moon. This idea gets repeated in a couple of issues of Silver Surfer. But by then What If #28 had already established that it was a normal moon settled by a branch of the Eternals, which was set in Marvel stone by the Deluxe Handbook #13.

Matriarch does die here. But when the universe is recreated without Magus next issue she reappears, probably as the prostitute she was before Magus raised her up.


Synopsis / Summary / Plot

Warlock #10 Synopsis by Rob Johnson
This issue is split into 3 chapters.

Chapter 1: The price

Adam Warlock and his new pal Pip the Troll along with Thanos and his agent Gamora are on the Homeworld of Magus' Universal Church of Truth. Magus, a being who Adam will evolve into, has sent 25000 of the Church's fanatic Black Knights to attack them to keep them occupied for 3 hours until the In-Betweener arrives to take Warlock away.

Magus deals out death with his eye-beams while Gamora and Warlock guard his flanks. Pip just tries to avoid getting killed. The pile of bodies mounts higher and higher, but eventually even Thanos runs out of blasting energy and resorts to his massive fists. So he calls for a strategic retreat up a staircase. But when they break out into thee open air they find thousands of the Black Knights still waiting for their chance to get at them. So Warlock creates another escape route by smashing down through the floor. Pip and Gamora follow him but Thanos stays behind. Adam then lifts up a wall and they slip underneath before he puts it back down (it only works in comics).

Later they are wandering through caverns below the palace. Warlock doesn't know how he knew about their existence. But he passes the time by going over in his mind the events of the issues since his comics career restarted in Strange Tales (see last issue). He begins to think his subconscious already has access to the memories of the Magus he will become. And those memories have led him to the broken but still-living body of the Matriarch of the Church. We last saw her last issue falling through a trapdoor as punishment for plotting to get rid of Magus and take over the Church for herself. She now regrets that she didn't join forces with Warlock because they might have succeeded together. And she dies.

While Adam asks the eternal question of why there is so much pain in the universe, Thanos 'ports in and tells him to accept that pain is the price of life.

Chapter 2: Who is Thanos?

This is a brief history of Thanos narrated by Captain Marvel. He was born with his brother Eros on Titan, moon of Saturn, sons of the civilisation's ruler Mentor. But evil Thanos conquered his peaceful homeworld with an army of aliens and then set his sights on Earth. He made a pact with Death as part of his quest for the Cosmic Cube. With that he became the Mad God, opposed by CM, Drax the Destroyer and the Avengers. But Mar-Vell ended his reign by shattering the Cube that was the source of Thanos' new power. (Most of this occurred in CM#25-33.)

We now learn that the result was not to kill Thanos but to return him to his mortal form floating at the centre of the universe. And now here he is.

Chapter 3: Enter the redemption principle

Thanos explains that he didn't have the luxury of attaining the concentration required to mentally transport all 4 of them to safety. So he held off the Black Knights while they escaped and then *did* have enough concentration to send *himself * here. And now he can compose himself and move them all to his space ark Sanctuary. Warlock senses that Sanctuary has the power to destroy planets. Thanos suggests he may actually be *recognising* a fact he has drawn from Magus' future knowledge.

While Pip figures out how to get Sanctuary to provide him with a cigar the Titanian explains why he is helping Warlock. After he lost control of his home moon he schemed to regain his power. (And future events will reveal that he means more than just the rulership of Titan.) 1 tool he created to help him was a time machine. Another tool will be Warlock, or rather his Soul Gem. But if Magus succeeds in his plan to have the In-Betweener soon take Adam to his own realm to be turned into himself then that would wreck Thanos' own plan. And Magus himself might be a threat to the Mad Titan. So he intends to help Warlock avoid his fate and thereby get rid of Magus.

Thanos has used his time machine in view mode to study Adam's complete life, which convinced him not to intervene directly. Instead he 'created' Gamora who he plucked from the future where her people the Zen Whoberis will be wiped out by Magus' Grand Inquisitors. He then fired her hatred for Magus on Sanctuary, enhanced her powers and trained her as an assassin.

Her practical training involved killing the Inquisitors who would later be involved in the genocide, thus cutting off her personal timeline. This disconnection helped shield her from Magus' attention (which was last issue attributed to his inability to see anything which didn't fit his memories of when he was his past self Warlock). But Magus' godlike senses saw through the ruse last issue when Gamora tried to kill him.

Thanos claims this leaves only 1 option open. Warlock must commit suicide.

Magus is enraged that Gen'l Egeus lost his opponents. But Magus only knew about Warlock, Pip and Gamora. When he hears that Thanos was involved too he realises who must have arranged for Gamora's presence. But this change to his past (ie to Warlock's present) hasn't been enough to eliminate him. The In-Betweener is still on his way to capture Adam and corrupt him.

Magus locates the In-Betweener's current position and extrapolates his course, and at the end of it finds the Sanctuary ark. He strangely discovers that all the ship's defences are down allowing him to scan the ark and see the time machine. This makes Magus realise that Thanos is even more dangerous than he realised. So he opens a portal and personally leads his Death Squad to the spaceship.

Meanwhile Thanos has expanded on his plan. He will send Warlock through time to kill himself in such a way as to preclude Magus ever existing.

Jim Starlin
Steve Leialoha
Jim Starlin
Jim Starlin (Cover Penciler)
Alan Weiss (Cover Inker)
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski.
Editor: Marv Wolfman.


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